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Re: The Creativity Councilor Is In! - CREATIVITY NEWSLETTER


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Posted by Susan on January 22, 19101 at 01:33:48:

In Reply to: Re: The Creativity Councilor Is In! - CREATIVITY NEWSLETTER posted by Gladys Brawer on October 31, 19100 at 10:22:42:


: : >Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2000 08:11:30 -0700 (PDT)
: : >To: "V.A.R.I.O.U.S. Media"
: : >From: Maisel
: : >Subject: ERIC MAISEL'S CREATIVITY NEWSLETTER #1, JULY, 2000
: : >
: : >WELCOME TO ERIC MAISEL'S MONTHLY CREATIVITY NEWSLETTER
: : ># 1 July, 2000
: : >
: : >Welcome to the first issue of the Creativity Newsletter. In each issue
: : >you'll find a creativity lesson and exercise, a creativity teaching tale,
: : >information about my books and workshops, and more. If you find this
: : >newsletter interesting, please pass it on to a friend. If you're receiving
: : >this issue but haven't subscribed to the newsletter, you will only receive
: : >future issues if you subscribe. You can subscribe by visiting my web site,
: : >http://www.ericmaisel.com and signing up for your free subscription, or by
: : >sending an E-mail to creativitynewsletter-subscribe@egroups.com
: : >
: : >***
: : >PUBLICATION OF THE CREATIVITY BOOK
: : >I'd like to announce the publication of my latest book. It's called The
: : >Creativity Book: A Year's Worth of Inspiration and Guidance and contains 88
: : >lessons for increasing creativity (along with a hundred exercises). It's
: : >published by Tarcher/Putnam (it's my 5th book with them) and is hot off the
: : >presses. You can obtain it from your local independent bookstore, the
: : >chains, or online bookstores. You can also purchase it through my web site,
: : >where you will be linked to Amazon.com. It is beautifully designed and
: : >pretty darn good, if I do say so myself!
: : >
: : >***
: : >WRITING NONFICTION
: : >As some of you know, I teach a class on nonfiction book proposal writing.
: : >I've just sold the book--tentatively titled From Idea to Proposal--that
: : >accompanies this class. It will appear late in 2001 from Tarcher/Putnam.
: : >
: : >My next class begins September 13 and runs for 6 Wednesday nights, 7 p.m.
: : >to 9 p.m., ending October 18th. It's at Book Passage in Corte Madera. To
: : >sign up call the store at 800-999-7909 or 415-927-0960 or email them at
: : >messages@bookpassage.com. The class will help you move from a vague idea
: : >for a nonfiction book to a solid idea (most nonfiction books start out so
: : >vaguely that their would-be author doesn't feel motivated to proceed) and
: : >will teach you how to put together a compelling book proposal. The class is
: : >right for any sort of nonfiction, including memoirs, and useful whether
: : >you're just starting (or haven't started at all) or have a lot (or all) of
: : >your book completed.
: : >
: : >I can also work with you individually on your book proposal. E-mail me for
: : >details.
: : >
: : >***
: : >SLEEP THINKING
: : >In December of this year I will have a new book coming out called Sleep
: : >Thinking: The Revolutionary Program That Helps You Solve Problems, Reduce
: : >Stress, and Increase Creativity While You Sleep. My daughter Natalya, who
: : >just finished her freshman year at Berkeley, helped me write this book, and
: : >her name appears on the cover. Very exciting! I am always looking for
: : >sleep thinking stories (I already have the sequel in mind!), so if you've
: : >ever solved a problem or done creative work in your sleep, I hope you'll
: : >share your story with me. You can E-mail me at amaisel@sirius.com.
: : >
: : >***
: : >NEWS AND NOTES
: : >
: : >I just completed a round of 25 radio interviews (conducted by phone) for a
: : >book of mine that appeared May, 2000, called 20 Communication Tips for
: : >Families. Here are five tips for those of you who may do radio interviews
: : >in support of your creative work:
: : >1. Be at the phone a half-hour early, if you can. The time you are told
: : >that a host will call can be off by that much or more. (By the same token,
: : >the call can be very late.)
: : >2. Make sure you know if the host is calling you or if you are supposed to
: : >call in. This sounds obvious but it's actually easy to forget.
: : >3. Wait for the host to finish his or her thought. Sometimes a host will
: : >go in three directions before getting to the actual question. Remain
: : >patient and calm.
: : >4. Go with the flow. You should have your crib notes in front of you, but
: : >you will probably have to tailor your "pat responses" to the angle the
: : >host is playing.
: : >5. Don't hang up after the host has said goodbye. Often the producer or
: : >the host will come back on the line to thank you. That's your chance to
: : >thank them and suggest that they have you back.
: : >
: : >I want to thank Susan Taylor Brown for her great work on my web site. If
: : >you're looking to build your personal site, check out my site and you'll
: : >find her E-mail address at the bottom of the home page.
: : >
: : >I just finished giving my first teleclass (phone class), based on one of my
: : >books called Deep Writing. It was a seven-week class, one hour each week,
: : >and most of the participants were writers from the South (I think 4 or 5
: : >were from Georgia). It was very interesting and a good experience; if
: : >you've been toying with the idea of taking (or giving) a teleclass, I
: : >recommend it. The phone turns out to be quite an intimate venue, and I
: : >will certainly offer more teleclasses in the future.
: : >
: : >I thought that I would recommend one web site in each issue. For this
: : >inaugural issue, I'm recommending Ed Hook's site, http://www.edhooks.com.
: : >Ed Hooks is a Bay Area actor and acting teaching whose free monthly online
: : >newsletter has a craft section that should interest anyone interested in
: : >creativity. Take a look!
: : >
: : >***
: : >I thought that I would err on the side of too much content, rather than too
: : >little, in this newsletter. This is one of my habits: in the first workshop
: : >I ever gave, about fifteen years ago, I tried to cram a weekend's worth of
: : >information into an hour presentation. But I am continuing that (bad) habit
: : >here! Following are two long pieces that I hope you find useful. One is
: : >an excerpt from The Creativity Book about making time for creativity. The
: : >second is a creativity coaching tale about artist's discipline. I hope you
: : >enjoy them. If you want to pass them along to others, feel free to do so,
: : >but please pass along the whole newsletter, so that recipients can have the
: : >chance to subscribe.
: : >
: : >***
: : >CREATIVITY LESSON: MAKING TIME FOR CREATIVE WORK
: : >
: : >In a prose piece that is one of the seminal works of existential
: : >literature, the poet Rilke describes a man who gets it into his head to
: : >calculate how many seconds he has left to live. Once he makes this
: : >calculation and begins to obsess about the relentless nature of time, which
: : >will not stop and which he can now viscerally feel passing, he experiences
: : >time in a new, horrible way. Each passing second brings him closer to his
: : >inevitable death; and since a second is too short a span in which to get
: : >anything done, he does nothing but manage to make death his constant
: : >companion.
: : >
: : >This piece, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, is about the
: : >psychological experience of time, about how the mind can make of time
: : >anything it will. When we are waiting for the pot to boil or a boring
: : >meeting to end, time takes forever. Those few minutes drag on so long that
: : >we feel we could write War and Peace and have time left over. But at other
: : >times, when we are actually writing War and Peace, time flies by. We sit
: : >down, vanish in our work, look up, and two hours have passed. How can a
: : >minute of meeting time feel infinitely longer than an hour of novel-writing
: : >time?
: : >
: : >As a therapist, I've acquired a feel for fifty minutes. It may not sound
: : >like much time, but a great deal can be accomplished in fifty minutes. In
: : >a session with a client, we could learn a great deal of importance about
: : >his childhood. We could map a detailed plan for next year that readies him
: : >to write his symphony. Fifty minutes is an extraordinary amount of time,
: : >if it is used well. This is what an everyday creative person wishes and
: : >demands at least some of her time to feel like.
: : >
: : >Time is THE issue, because it stands for so much. There is the matter of
: : >having too little time, because of all the time your job eats up. There is
: : >the equally profound matter of feeling too drained and brain dead to get
: : >your creative work done in the time remaining after work. Even more
: : >important is not feeling up to creating and blaming time for what is really
: : >motivational malaise. Time can be the enemy and time can be the scapegoat.
: : >
: : >
: : >People who want to create and who also work a day job get up earlier than
: : >other people. They make time. People who do not want to create, even if
: : >they have luxurious amounts of time on their hands, have "no time" for
: : >their composing, writing, or painting. We can carve time out of thin air
: : >or we can fill up even infinite stretches of time with nothingness. These
: : >are our choices. You can make a quarter hour appear if that's really your
: : >heart's desire; wanting it to appear is
: : >proof that you're becoming an everyday creative person.
: : >
: : >Exercise. Make an Hour
: : >
: : >If you don't have one already, buy a kitchen timer, one of those wind-up
: : >timers that can go for up to an hour, that click loudly as they wind down,
: : >and that bing when the designated time is up.
: : >
: : >Wind it up and put it next to you. Sit. You will find the experience
: : >intolerable because of the loud ticking. This is how it feels to become
: : >too conscious of seconds. Now put the kitchen timer in another room, one
: : >close enough that you can hear the ultimate bing but not so close that you
: : >can hear the moment-to-moment ticking.
: : >
: : >Today, set the timer for twenty minutes. Do absolutely nothing.Twiddle
: : >your thumbs. Do not read a magazine. Do not start the laundry. Just grow
: : >restless. What a long time twenty minutes can be! Wait for the blessed
: : >bing. Then get on with your life.
: : >
: : >Tomorrow, set the timer for forty minutes. Sit. Stare into space. Again
: : >do nothing. Don't meditate. No yoga. Do absolutely nothing. Aren't
: : >forty minutes an eternity?
: : >
: : >The day after tomorrow, set the timer for an hour. But this time do not do
: : >nothing. Do something. If you have a creative project in mind, work on
: : >that. If you haven't chosen a creative project yet, spend the hour engaged
: : >with your possibilities. Sketch the house you might build. Start a plan
: : >for your home business. Outline your book. Get acquainted with your
: : >dreams.
: : >
: : >Wasn't that a different, better experience? An hour is an incredible amount
: : >of time, incredibly oppressive if you're avoiding your chosen work,
: : >incredibly spacious if you're using yourself well. One of your jobs is to
: : >make at least one good hour magically appear every single day, as early
: : >each day as possible.
: : >
: : >
: : >***
: : >Creativity Teaching Tale: The Writer Who Craved Discipline
: : >
: : > One day a young writer named David, pained that he had not completed a
: : >single one of the twenty stories he had begun in the past year-and-a-half,
: : >came to see Ari, a creativity coach who lived in the desert.
: : > "I am so undisciplined!" David blurted out as soon as he was seated.
: : >"What is discipline?"
: : > Ari stared at the young man without smiling. Then he replied, "For an
: : >artist, the word 'discipline' has a special meaning." He fixed David with
: : >his gaze. "Let's say that the urge to write about something welled up in
: : >your soul. You understand that feeling?"
: : > "Yes!"
: : > "What are your two possible responses?"
: : > David thought for a moment. "To say 'no' to the urge or to say 'yes' to
: : >the urge."
: : > Ari nodded. "If you said 'no' to the urge, maybe you would go out and
: : >exercise. Maybe every time you said no to your creativity, you would
: : >exercise, one time jogging, another time lifting weights, and so forth. If
: : >you did that all the time you might get very fit. What might people say
: : >about you?"
: : > David pondered the question. "Well, I think that people would say ...
: : >that I was very disciplined!"
: : > "Exactly. But would you be writing or completing your stories?"
: : > "No."
: : > "Would you be a creator or something else?"
: : > "Something else."
: : > "For a creator, discipline means creating regularly. It can have no
: : >other meaning. Being disciplined in some other way, like doing yoga every
: : >morning or doing superb work at your day job, is not only not an artist's
: : >discipline but it may even be a person's avoidance of his artist's nature.
: : >So, you ask, what is discipline? For an artist, it is artist's discipline
: : >and no other kind of discipline, not even the very important discipline of
: : >the alcoholic artist who maintains sobriety or the depressed artist who
: : >maintains hope."
: : > "I understand!" David pulled on his short brown beard. "But how can I
: : >acquire artist's discipline?"
: : > "Imagine that you've been placed on a spinning beach ball and that you
: : >can just maintain your balance. It takes every ounce of effort to keep
: : >yourself upright, every ounce of mental and physical dexterity. Could you
: : >also write?"
: : > "No. Not as you described it."
: : > "No, you couldn't. What would artist's discipline mean in that context?"
: : > David thought for some time. He imagined that if he got very skilled at
: : >riding the beach ball, maybe he would then possess the wherewithal to also
: : >write. He could picture a great acrobat twirling on the beach ball and
: : >also drinking lemonade and writing War and Peace. That image was very
: : >seductive. The great acrobat's mastery was very impressive and also looked
: : >easy, effortless. Why couldn't he learn to handle life, no matter how
: : >chaotic and demanding it might be, and also write? But in the pit of his
: : >stomach he understood what riding on that ball would feel like. It would
: : >never be possible to write, not so long as he had to maintain his balance.
: : > "I would have to fall off the ball first," he murmured.
: : > "Or hop off!" Ari laughed. "Yes. On and off, on and off, one minute in
: : >the whirlwind of spinning life and the next minute in the deep quiet of not
: : >riding the ball. The first step is hopping off the spinning ball. Then
: : >you will meet you, in stillness, in all your nakedness, without that
: : >balancing act to distract you or occupy your thoughts. What will be
: : >spinning then?"
: : > "My stomach!" David blurted out.
: : > "Exactly. Then and only then will you get to create. Then you will
: : >find yourself in the very best anxiety, in real quiet, married to your own
: : >thoughts. Then you will write and finish things."
: : > David nodded. He knew what Ari meant. But he didn't know how to
: : >acquire that discipline.
: : > "Go now," Ari said before David could ask his next question.
: : > "But--"
: : > "You have the idea. Now master it."
: : > "But--"
: : > "Go now."
: : > David got up reluctantly. A few seconds later he found himself back in
: : >the tumult of the Bazaar. Just as he emerged from the shop, a shaft of
: : >mid-afternoon desert sunshine completely blinded him.
: : >
: : >***
: : >STAY IN TOUCH
: : >
: : >If there have been any formatting problems with this newsletter or other
: : >problems of that sort, do let me know. This is new to me! Please be
: : >patient and forgiving!
: : >
: : >The best way to be in touch and to stay in touch is through this newsletter
: : >and via E-mail. To subscribe to the newsletter, send an E-mail to
: : >creativitynewsletter-subscribe@egroups.com. My E-mail address is
: : >amaisel@sirius.com.
: : >
: : >I welcome your thoughts and comments. Until August!
: : >
: : >Eric
: : >
: : >
: : >______________________
: : >Eric Maisel, Ph.D.
: : >http://www.ericmaisel.com
: : >fax (925) 689-0210
: : >message (925) 689-0210
: : >
: : >
: : >______________________
: : >Eric Maisel, Ph.D.
: : >http://www.ericmaisel.com
: : >fax (925) 689-0210
: : >message (925) 689-0210
: : >

Time can be the enemy and time can be the scapegoat.
: : >
: : >
: : >People who want to create and who also work a day job get up earlier than
: : >other people. They make time. People who do not want to create, even if
: : >they have luxurious amounts of time on their hands, have "no time" for
: : >their composing, writing, or painting. We can carve time out of thin air
: : >or we can fill up even infinite stretches of time with nothingness. These
: : >are our choices. You can make a quarter hour appear if that's really your
: : >heart's desire; wanting it to appear is
: : >proof that you're becoming an everyday creative person.
: : >
: : >Exercise. Make an Hour
: : >
: : >If you don't have one already, buy a kitchen timer, one of those wind-up
: : >timers that can go for up to an hour, that click loudly as they wind down,
: : >and that bing when the designated time is up.
: : >
: : >Wind it up and put it next to you. Sit. You will find the experience
: : >intolerable because of the loud ticking. This is how it feels to become
: : >too conscious of seconds. Now put the kitchen timer in another room, one
: : >close enough that you can hear the ultimate bing but not so close that you
: : >can hear the moment-to-moment ticking.
: : >
: : >Today, set the timer for twenty minutes. Do absolutely nothing.Twiddle
: : >your thumbs. Do not read a magazine. Do not start the laundry. Just grow
: : >restless. What a long time twenty minutes can be! Wait for the blessed
: : >bing. Then get on with your life.
: : >
: : >Tomorrow, set the timer for forty minutes. Sit. Stare into space. Again
: : >do nothing. Don't meditate. No yoga. Do absolutely nothing. Aren't
: : >forty minutes an eternity?
: : >
: : >The day after tomorrow, set the timer for an hour. But this time do not do
: : >nothing. Do something. If you have a creative project in mind, work on
: : >that. If you haven't chosen a creative project yet, spend the hour engaged
: : >with your possibilities. Sketch the house you might build. Start a plan
: : >for your home business. Outline your book. Get acquainted with your
: : >dreams.
: : >
: : >Wasn't that a different, better experience? An hour is an incredible amount
: : >of time, incredibly oppressive if you're avoiding your chosen work,
: : >incredibly spacious if you're using yourself well. One of your jobs is to
: : >make at least one good hour magically appear every single day, as early
: : >each day as possible.
: : >
: : >
: : >***
: : >Creativity Teaching Tale: The Writer Who Craved Discipline
: : >
: : > One day a young writer named David, pained that he had not completed a
: : >single one of the twenty stories he had begun in the past year-and-a-half,
: : >came to see Ari, a creativity coach who lived in the desert.
: : > "I am so undisciplined!" David blurted out as soon as he was seated.
: : >"What is discipline?"
: : > Ari stared at the young man without smiling. Then he replied, "For an
: : >artist, the word 'discipline' has a special meaning." He fixed David with
: : >his gaze. "Let's say that the urge to write about something welled up in
: : >your soul. You understand that feeling?"
: : > "Yes!"
: : > "What are your two possible responses?"
: : > David thought for a moment. "To say 'no' to the urge or to say 'yes' to
: : >the urge."
: : > Ari nodded. "If you said 'no' to the urge, maybe you would go out and
: : >exercise. Maybe every time you said no to your creativity, you would
: : >exercise, one time jogging, another time lifting weights, and so forth. If
: : >you did that all the time you might get very fit. What might people say
: : >about you?"
: : > David pondered the question. "Well, I think that people would say ...
: : >that I was very disciplined!"
: : > "Exactly. But would you be writing or completing your stories?"
: : > "No."
: : > "Would you be a creator or something else?"
: : > "Something else."
: : > "For a creator, discipline means creating regularly. It can have no
: : >other meaning. Being disciplined in some other way, like doing yoga every
: : >morning or doing superb work at your day job, is not only not an artist's
: : >discipline but it may even be a person's avoidance of his artist's nature.
: : >So, you ask, what is discipline? For an artist, it is artist's discipline
: : >and no other kind of discipline, not even the very important discipline of
: : >the alcoholic artist who maintains sobriety or the depressed artist who
: : >maintains hope."
: : > "I understand!" David pulled on his short brown beard. "But how can I
: : >acquire artist's discipline?"
: : > "Imagine that you've been placed on a spinning beach ball and that you
: : >can just maintain your balance. It takes every ounce of effort to keep
: : >yourself upright, every ounce of mental and physical dexterity. Could you
: : >also write?"
: : > "No. Not as you described it."
: : > "No, you couldn't. What would artist's discipline mean in that context?"
: : > David thought for some time. He imagined that if he got very skilled at
: : >riding the beach ball, maybe he would then possess the wherewithal to also
: : >write. He could picture a great acrobat twirling on the beach ball and
: : >also drinking lemonade and writing War and Peace. That image was very
: : >seductive. The great acrobat's mastery was very impressive and also looked
: : >easy, effortless. Why couldn't he learn to handle life, no matter how
: : >chaotic and demanding it might be, and also write? But in the pit of his
: : >stomach he understood what riding on that ball would feel like. It would
: : >never be possible to write, not so long as he had to maintain his balance.
: : > "I would have to fall off the ball first," he murmured.
: : > "Or hop off!" Ari laughed. "Yes. On and off, on and off, one minute in
: : >the whirlwind of spinning life and the next minute in the deep quiet of not
: : >riding the ball. The first step is hopping off the spinning ball. Then
: : >you will meet you, in stillness, in all your nakedness, without that
: : >balancing act to distract you or occupy your thoughts. What will be
: : >spinning then?"
: : > "My stomach!" David blurted out.
: : > "Exactly. Then and only then will you get to create. Then you will
: : >find yourself in the very best anxiety, in real quiet, married to your own
: : >thoughts. Then you will write and finish things."
: : > David nodded. He knew what Ari meant. But he didn't know how to
: : >acquire that discipline.
: : > "Go now," Ari said before David could ask his next question.
: : > "But--"
: : > "You have the idea. Now master it."
: : > "But--"
: : > "Go now."
: : > David got up reluctantly. A few seconds later he found himself back in
: : >the tumult of the Bazaar. Just as he emerged from the shop, a shaft of
: : >mid-afternoon desert sunshine completely blinded him.
: : >
: : >***
: : >STAY IN TOUCH
: : >
: : >If there have been any formatting problems with this newsletter or other
: : >problems of that sort, do let me know. This is new to me! Please be
: : >patient and forgiving!
: : >
: : >The best way to be in touch and to stay in touch is through this newsletter
: : >and via E-mail. To subscribe to the newsletter, send an E-mail to
: : >creativitynewsletter-subscribe@egroups.com. My E-mail address is
: : >amaisel@sirius.com.
: : >
: : >I welcome your thoughts and comments. Until August!
: : >
: : >Eric
: : >
: : >
: : >______________________
: : >Eric Maisel, Ph.D.
: : >http://www.ericmaisel.com
: : >fax (925) 689-0210
: : >message (925) 689-0210
: : >
: : >
: : >______________________
: : >Eric Maisel, Ph.D.
: : >http://www.ericmaisel.com
: : >fax (925) 689-0210
: : >message (925) 689-0210
: : >




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